On 27 August 27, 2020 Amazon launched its wellness band and app subscription which is named Halo. The band is unique in that it doesn’t have a screen like its competitors’ products, instead utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and “multiple advanced sensors”.
The device utilizes a voice-sensing feature, named Tone, which uses machine learning to analyse energy and positivity in the wearer’s voice throughout the day, which the company states will help users improve their communication and relationships.
The Halo, which has opened to early access, includes both the service and a new Amazon Halo Band wrist-worn activity tracker for $64.99 for a six-month membership. However, the standard public price of the same will be $99.99 once it is more generally available.
Price is a key value driver for consumers and is one of the leading factors influencing purchase. The high cost of most wearables, typically over $150 and often much higher, is a barrier to a large portion of the population. As a result, the Halo could prove enticing for price conscious consumers.
Wearable tech has experienced phenomenal growth
According to GlobalData, the health wearables market cap is expected to increase at a rate of 19% in the next four years, eventually reaching $54bn by 2023. Amazon has recognized the markets potential and is hoping to cash in on this.
The technologies ability to adapt to a variety of industries has allowed wearables to infiltrate a diverse range of markets including healthcare, fitness and wellbeing, sports insurance, finance, aerospace and defense, enterprise and industrial amongst others.
The increasing integration of wearable technologies with IoT, big data, AI, and cloud computing solutions is enabling faster and deeper penetration of the wearable gadgets into the connected-society, which has driven strong growth in the market.
Halo faces some tough competitors in the market
Apple is increasing the health aspects of its AppleWatch 5, incorporating Electrocardiography features that produce an electrocardiogram (ECG) which records the heart’s rhythm and activity.
The ECG app can indicate whether your heart rhythm shows a sign of atrial fibrillation – a serious form of irregular heart rhythm – or sinus rhythm, which means your heart, is beating in a normal pattern and provide doctors with valuable data.
Fitbit, Inc. (Fitbit) offers a range of connected health and fitness devices that help monitor various health parameters like sleep duration, heart rate, BMI, calories burned and exercise routines. The Fitbit Inspire HR secured the award for “Best Fitness Tracker of 2019” by AH (Android Headlines) Awards.
It is difficult to know whether Halo will be able to carve out a significant market share. However, with the financial backing of Amazon, it stands a strong chance.